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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Pushing past the issue with the Power Pole Connectors were I started a separate thread on

I set the modules up to do a full op check on them. Right away the command station was indicating a short. I isolated the modules in the initial trouble shooting steps and it turns out that two of the modules had shorts in them, both being the 6' end modules with the turnouts. I benched one end module and began isolation of sections and found it was an air gap that had closed and made connection with a powered frog. I guess there must have been some kind of magnetic pull between the rails that made them pull together. I've been gluing the rails were I made air gaps to prevent this very problem, but somehow, I just didn't do it to this one.


OK, air gap re-established and the module is good. Now the other end module. No closed air gaps, all rail drops are correct so there is no wrong connections there. The only thing left I can think of would be a faulty contact system within a Tortoise Machine that powers the frogs. I tested each one extensively using jumper wires before soldering them. All stapled wires have the staple holding only one wire so there are no staple shorts. That got me early in the wiring work. Talk about a tough to find short.

There is a short somewhere on this. Can ya see it?

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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
turns out it was the Tortoise Machine frog juice connector. Second from the left of the bottom left two.
Not sure how it got by my inspection, but two wires were inverted. Straightened that out and it is ready for another full test of the modules.
Gonna watch the fireworks on TV this evening so I'll do the test tomorrow afternoon.
Hopefully I can move on to painting the rail and ties tomorrow afternoon.

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Did some painting on one of the modules today. First coat of mud brown. Several more coats of various colors of earth will be applied.
Track is painted rust red on the rail web and ties are a dark brown. Ballast will be applied a little later.


Started work on the transport case. This is about 60" wide by 102" long. This is just the base of it. The box will be built up from this.
Pretty hot working out in the garage.
The modules will slide in from the end with two of the 4' modules end to end and two side by side. There will be 7 levels of slots for the modules. 4 rows for the standard modules of the yard. 1 row for the two 6' modules. 1 row for legs and one additional 2X4 module and 1 level for two curved modules which will be built at a later date.

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Well-Known Member
Breeze from the woods would be cooler as they have their own micro-climate. In my case, my subdivision is like most built in the past 20 years with no TREES....any breeze is usually 15-20 MPH and accelerated by the way the buildings in the neighborhood are laid out. Since I have 10 acres of an open field on the south, (we can't seem to get the church to plant any wind breaks) and unbuilt fields within a block (living on the edge). So everything is Little House on the

On one hand, I'd love to be back in the Great North Woods again (lived in western Michigan as a Kid) but I like winter here a lot better...about 2 weeks off and on of snow and ice on the roads and I don't have to shovel rain.

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Got the main box completed this afternoon. This is a little over 8 feet long so it can carry two 4' modules end to end. The right side rack is a little higher than the left side. This was so I could get the screws into the support wood from the opposite side of the plywood. This thing is going to weigh a to when its loaded with all the modules. It will store on a very short table that has wheels so I can wheel it over to the door and load it onto the flat trailer I'll haul it with. Dragging it on and off the trailer will be done with block and tackle.
Ran outa plywood. Have to make a trip to Lowes tonight so I can work more on it tomorrow. Supposed to rain tomorrow so need to get the wood back home tonight.


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